[imagefield_assist|fid=10647|preset=fullsize|title=The competition at the Chicago Open proved just enough to deny GM Ben Finegold prize money this year.|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=700|height=585]
Vergilesov & Eckert took a quick draw, leaving the door open for Josh Frank to join them in first place after his win over Jim McLaughlin. Margaret Hua defeated her former teacher Joe Garnier! Way to go Margaret! She joins Spencer Finegold fourth place with 3/4.
Matt Larson was able to complete a perfect tournament, and will take clear first with 4/4. Congratulations Matt! Second place is shared four ways, between Katurah Gadson, Daniel Thurber, Haozhe Wang, and Marek Ziolkowski.
[imagefield_assist|fid=10589|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=The Saturday WOW brought out more than 20 players who were tournament rookies.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=464]
Overall Winner: Steve Bange 4/4
U1800: Jacob Wilkins 4/4
U1400: Jacinda Lee 3/4
Biggest Upset: Jacinda Lee, 571 pts
Youngest Player with a Win: Ronan Townes, 6yo
[imagefield_assist|fid=10553|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=Youth trumped experience last month as GM Ray Robson defeated GM Ben Finegold 6-4 in Saint Louis.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=464]
I am going to write a long three-part blog for my readers who missed me this Spring. I was quite busy with the following:
Part 1 - Match with Ray Robson
Part 2 - Chicago Open
Part 3 - National Open
[imagefield_assist|fid=10540|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=NM Gregory Young sits with GM Ben Finegold after his round two victory over FM John Bryant.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=467]
By Ken West
Gregory Young is the 2011 U.S. Junior Champion, taking the title with a win Friday before the final round of play even began.
[imagefield_assist|fid=10513|preset=fullsize|title=Gregory Young, right, solidified his place at the top of the leaderboard at the U.S. Junior Championship.|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=700|height=467]By Ken West
SAINT LOUIS, June 24, 2011 -- With just two rounds remaining, Gregory Young stands alone at the top of the crosstables with a score of 6/7 in the U.S. Junior Closed Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
[imagefield_assist|fid=10501|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=After a round 6 draw, IM Daniel Naroditsky was unable to keep pace with tourney leader NM Gregory Young.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=467]By Ken West
SAINT LOUIS, June 23, 2011 -- Alec Getz pushed d5 in response to John Bryant’s e4 and went on to win his fourth point Wednesday to move into third at the U.S. Junior Closed Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
[imagefield_assist|fid=10493|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=Alec Getz handed Gregory Young his first loss of the tournament in round five.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=467]
By Ken West
SAINT LOUIS, June 22, 2011 -- Alec Getz handed Gregory Young his first loss in the U.S. Junior Closed Championship Tuesday, and Daniel Naroditsky won his game against Warren Harper to pull even with Young at 4 points.
[imagefield_assist|fid=10452|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=GM Garry Kasparov, widely recognized as the greatest player in the history of chess, analyzes games from round two of the U.S. Junior Championship with GM Ben Finegold.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=467]
By Ken West
Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov paid a surprise visit Friday to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis during the second round of the U.S. Junior Closed Championship.
His presence allowed him to speak about one game in particular — National Master Gregory Young against FIDE Master John Bryant. Playing against Bryant’s Najdorf Sicilian, Young retreated his knight from d4 to f3 on move 13.
When Young made the move, Grandmaster Ben Finegold — who is providing commentary with FIDE Master Aviv Friedman — said he had not seen the move in that line before. During post-game analysis, Young said Kasparov played the line against Boris Gelfand in 1993 in Linares. Young made the comment not knowing Kasparov would make a surprise visit to the games.
Kasparov said Gelfand played the line against him again in 1994. Kasparov also played the black side in the same line. He played a5 as black, a move Bryant also played.
After Young’s e5 push, Bryant played d5.
Shown Young’s Rd4 on move 17, Kasparov smiled and said, “Nice!”
“This is very risky play by both,” Finegold said during the game. “I predict no draw here.”
His prediction proved true as the game ended on move 38 with Young taking the full point. An oddity of the final position: Bryant had both rooks on the seventh.
“It looks like Bryant got a taste of his own medicine today,” Friedman said, talking about Young’s attacking play. Bryant won the day before with a knight sacrifice on f7.
GM Kasparov also commented on the other games.
In those games, FM Warren Harper beat International Master Conrad Holt to keep pace with Young at two points each.
In the other games, NM Kayden Troff won with the black pieces against NM Raven Sturt; IM Daniel Naroditsky beat FM Alec Getz; and FM Victor Shen topped NM Jialin Ding.
In the Sturt-Troff match, Friedman said Sturt could have secured a draw with a queen trade. After the game, Sturt said he saw the move but rejected it.
“I’m in it to win it,” he said.